February 10, 2011
By Heather Turner
CORVALLIS, Ore. — More than 460 colleges and universities nationwide are smoke or tobacco-free, including the University of Oregon that plans to be smoke-free in fall 2012.
But now another major Oregon university is following suit.
Starting fall 2012, Oregon State University will officially become a smoke-free campus.
“It’s about creating the best environment to study and to work,” said Lisa Hoogesteger, Smoke-Free Task Force Review Chair.
It’s a plan that’s been in the works since 2008, and now administrators got the official go-ahead to begin making OSU a smoke-free campus.
”It’s a public health issue. There’s no level of second-hand smoke that’s safe according to the Surgeon General and many other reports that are out there,” Hoogesteger said.
OSU Smoke-Free Task Force members say three percent of OSU students use cigarettes daily, 11 percent smoke occasionally and 16 percent have previously smoked.
They say those who do smoke on campus create a health hazard to both themselves and non-smoker bystanders.
”Students or faculty and staff who have any kind of respiratory illness or asthma or heart conditions, even the smallest amount of tobacco exposure, smoke exposure can really exacerbate whatever kind of health problems they have,” Hoogesteger said.
”Smoke’s gross, and I think if people didn’t smoke, it’d be better for the environment,” said Jessica Hacker, OSU student and non-smoker.
Some smokers on campus understand.
”I think it adds to the cleanliness of the campus, and obviously it’s a great health concern for the public, so I don’t disagree with it,” said Nathan Pauley, OSU student and smoker.
But not everyone is happy with the decision.
”I think that it’s a little bit of an infringement of my personal liberty. (There are) a lot of establishments around here. We’re not allowed to smoke outside or anywhere near the door. Smokers have to go pretty far away to have a break so to speak,” said Melissa Bavlnka, OSU student and smoker.
Administrators say they don’t anticipate problems with people not complying.
University administrators say you’ll start to notice signs popping up around OSU letting people know of their plans to make the campus smoke-free.
OSU Campus to Go Smoke-Free | KEZI